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Actions Backing Activism
You’re finally receiving that West Coast Sports Newsletter you subscribed to recently or a few years ago when I first started playing with this idea. In case you’ve missed anything in the first two issues here’s some updates on the PST sports media brand:
We Are West Coast Sports is a weekly newsletter for casual sports fans and busy professionals seeking the best news and jobs from professional sports in their region and time zone (CA, WA, OR and NV). This is the first PST product but it could be spun into multiple products as we roll out.
Define the West Coast Audience segments and build trust with early members
Develop the tone and voice of a newsletter for this underserved community
Learn how to produce a newsletter and grow an email list
Test different platforms, titles and branding with engaged users to finalize market strategy
Why Now? COVID reset the game for Sports Media. My maternal grandfather’s death in February and paternal grandmother’s death in May showed me there’s no better time than now.
How’s it Going? Got even more great feedback last week and my views doubled. Now, I’m actually sending my first email. I’ve also gotten more bold with titles and bullets this week as requested. I am working on a survey for feedback soon so recommendations for that are welcomed.
Why a Newsletter? You can read about why newsletters will be the primary distribution channel in my updated deck. Basically, many of us are fascinated with newsletters and millennial news brands like Morning Brew and the Hustle prove it’s an effective way to break into the media world. I’m hoping to apply this theory to sports media along with my experience developing an alumni newsletter in college.
Why Substack? I went back and forth between Substack, Revue, Ghost, GoodBits and other stacks with newsletters but I decided on Substack since they say this is place to write about your passions. Mine has always been sports on the West Coast.
Who are You? As you can tell from my portfolio of over 1,000 news articles and content created pieces, I mostly write and talk about West Coast sports team in the NBA and NFL. I also work full-time in media relations so I’ve got a strong network across media along with strong experiences in marketing and reaching specific audiences. I’ve been planning to bring these paths together as a news entrepreneur and this is my toe in the water.
Where Do I Get Involved? If you’re reading this newsletter prototype and newsletter about a newsletter project you are involved. First and foremost, you can support us by locking in your email address and subscribing. You can also show us your love by sharing with a friend who might benefit from this weekly read or promoting on your social channels.
Big Picture? My promise is to get a valuable weekly read into your email by 3 PM PST every Wednesday. Hopefully, this will be the groudwork to developing a daily West Coast Sports brand titled PST (for now). Regardless, I dream of building the news outlet the West Coast deserves.
Thanks again for your time and understanding. Sorry again for the length. This is still a work in progress so all feedback is welcomed. Your participation only ensures our success.
Pete D. Camarillo aka your favorite L.A. Blog Boi with a newsletter
P.S. Media folks looking for work should check out this newsletter which is helpful to our own job section.
Putting Money Where Your Mouth Is…
Statements and social media blackouts in solidarity for the death of George Floyd, police brutality and Black Lives Matter took the next step as sports brands got active with their dollars and actions.
This week brands like Nike took a stand with $40 million donation to support the Black community along with $100 million from the Jordan brand. Adidas invested $20 million and plans to hire more People of Color too.
Teams like the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle Seahawks and Oakland A’sput money behind various causes to combat racism last week.
NBA 2k provided an easy outlet for fans. Serena Williams’ husband who co-founded Reddit chipped in too. EA donated $1 million to the Equal Justice Initiative. Riot and other gaming companies donated too.
MAKES CENTS: Clearly, addressing racial injustice is no longer a personal or societal issue to sports brands, teams or players. Fans are holding them accountable to diversity and inclusion through statements, actions and dollars. All the economic activity might equal real social change as these sports brands try to get on the right side of history or make good on their Black audiences. The money can’t hurt but it’s got to be authentic. More to come throughout this week’s newsletter.
Draft Day Distractions: MLB Had To Do It
Major League Baseball is still trying to figure out their return but the annual draft is scheduled for business as usual through Thursday afternoon. The MLB draft starts with the first round on Wednesday at 4 PM PST which you can catch on ESPN and MLB Networks.
DRAFT QUICK HITS
This year’s virtual draft will also get cut from 40 rounds to only five. Undrafted players can sign for no more than $20,000.
The Astros forfeited their first two picks for the sign-stealing scandal we almost forgot about. The Red Sox lost one too.
There are already rumors about a team within the top-ten purposely botching the pick.
WHERE’S THE WEST COAST?
San Diego holds six picks and they can use every bit of their $10.67 million bonus pool. The Padres picks begin at eighth overall.
The Angels have four picks which they will make without the help of their furloughed scouts. Los Angeles picks 10th overall.
San Francisco holds seven picks beginning with No. 13 overall. Steven Duggar, Matt Duffy and Brian Wilson are some Giants notables that would’ve went down another path in this shortened MLB draft since they were selected after the fifth round.
The Dodgers have six picks in five rounds beginning with the 29th selection.
No Justice for Kap, No Peace for NFL
Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played since 2016 but many inside and outside the league want him employed after the NFL took back their stance against anthem protests.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr continued standing behind Kap this. Al Sharpton called out Goodell and the NFL at George Floyd’s funeral. He demanded they give him Kaepernick a job and not an apology on Tuesday. Atlanta Falcons starting quarterback Matt Ryan said the former 9ers QB should get every opportunity to get back into the league.
Reports say Kaepernick is in the best shape of his career as he is working out as if he will start the 2020 season. Some even said the player who started peaceful on-field protests of police brutality during the national anthem offers more motivation than ever.
Like many movements, the NFL versus policy brutality got it’s start in the Bay with Kap and it’s great that people remember that. However, all this talk about Kaepernick doesn’t matter until an NFL decision maker takes the leap by signing the player who sued the league of collusion.
This week, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan tackled discrimination against Black coaches, protests, white privilege and Kap. Yet, he’s directly connected to roster decisions that made Kap and fellow protester Eric Reid unemployed in San Francisco.
OTHER COACHES ON KAP
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said Kap should be in the NFL last week as he addressed other racial issues in the NFL. Except his Bolts acquired Tyrod Taylor as a quality backup and not Kaepernick last year.
The Seahawks and Ravens both considered Kaepernick since he’s been out the league but went in other directions with Geno Smith, Robert Griffin III and others.
Former Browns coach Hue Jackson wanted to sign Kap. They started Taylor instead too.
Conveniently, most of the switch up comes after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell posted a video on behalf of the league supporting Black Lives Matter.
This came after controversy when Drew Brees got dragged for condemning anthem protests and Super Bowl MVP Pat Mahomes posted his own video demanding the NFL acknowledge BLM. In a matter of a few days, the NFL flipped their stance on police brutality.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Seems like the NFL is far from solving the Kaepernick issue as long as he is not signed. Not to mention, Kap will have to wait in-line behind 2015 MVP Cam Newton who is also a Black QB free agent waiting for a chance to start.
Change is Coming to Racism in Hockey
San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane started talking about racism in hockey right as public unrest erupted around George Floyd’s death. Kane called for prominent athletes to speak up.
Now, he’s backing that up by leading an independent Hockey Diversity Alliance with several past and current players.
They want to inspire a new generation of hockey players through community engagement with the youth and lowering the price point.
It will also educate the community about racism in the sport, advocate for equality at all levels of the sport and by holding all involved accountable for diversity.
Former Sharks winger Joel Ward is also part of the alliance. Kaepernick inspired them.
MORE NHL PROGRESS
The NHL recently took new measures to combat abuse and racism across the league. Four Committees made up of different stakeholders will examine and take action on issues facing the league and the sport as a result from that. They also announced creation of a task force to focus on development for minority coaches and officials.
Not to mention, the NHL just named the first Latino descent president, CEO and alternate governor. Xavier Gutierrez becomes first Latino president, CEO with the Arizona Coyotes.
Racist Wives Cancelled in this Galaxy
Midfielder Aleksandar Katai got his walking papers from the Galaxy after his wife Tea Katai posted racist and violent comments. Tea’s posts were taken down but they mocked the protests in response to George Floyd’s death. There was also previous evidence about intolerance from Katai.
Still, he Serbian international winger denounced the latest posts by his wife. Meanwhile, the Galaxy made their own statement condemning the posts. After a meeting between the Galaxy and Katai, the Galaxy released a one-sentence statement saying the two-sides mutually parted.
Katai was signed at the end of 2019 after two seasons in Chicago Fire. He started the two Galaxy league matches played before games were postponed. Katai earned a guaranteed compensation of $1,380,333.33 last season but his 2020 salary is not made public by the MLSPA.
TIME’S UP: L.A. lost their third most important attacking player without a real clear replacement because fans expect better. It’s the latest stance of a team taking a stance against racists in the organization after we saw the Kings boot their announcer when he tweeted his ignorance. Whether you’re a broadcaster and alumni for the Sounders or a solid starting player, racists in sports are getting held accountable.
How Much Does Pete Carroll Got Left?
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is the NFL’s oldest coach and his contract also expires at the end 2021. Carroll turns 69-years-old in September and he’s only a few years away from when the NFL’s two oldest head coaches. George Halas and Mark Levy retired at 72.
Plus, only quarterback Russell Wilson, linebacker Bobby Wagner and kicker Jason Myers are under contract beyond 2021, minus rookie contracts. Seattle also inked short-term deals in free agency which could mean the Seattle is pushing for a Championship before Carroll’s contract expired.
There’s speculation Carroll may start grooming his replacement. Either way, the young-spirited Carroll and Wilson have a strong bond. Carool should impact whoever leads Wilson through the end of his contract and potentially the next one.
PETE’S A GOAT: Some may never forget how Carroll’s Seahawks lost a Super Bowl at the goal line thanks to Malcolm Butler’s interception. However, Seattle also shutdown one of the best offensive teams ever and won a title the year before. They only missed the playoffs once since the Super Bowl loss in 2014. Carroll also made USC relevant again. He’s a Hall of Fame coach who should determine where he goes out, whether that is in Seattle or not.
West Coast Shout Outs
Tight end Darren Waller earned a nomination for the George Halas Award after breaking out with the Raiders in 2019 after a lengthy battle with drug and alcohol abuse. Chargers tackle Russell Okung also received recognition for the award given to the NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and 49ers tackle Joe Staley received nominations for the Good Guy award which recognizes those who help pro football writers do their jobs. Winners are announced June 22 and you can read more on the PFWA Off-Field Award nominees here.
The Pro Hockey Writers Association also announced nominees for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy which recognizes a player’s perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey. Nominees selected by local PHWA chapters included Ducks goalie Ryan Miller for his philanthropy, Sharks forward Joe Thornton with his third nomination, Vegas Knights defenseman Shea Theodore after he beat testicular cancer and Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. This list will get cut down to three before a winner is announced at a later date.
WHY IT MATTERS: Players who do well with the media and those who share their stories help sports brands grow regionally and nationally.
Small Cracks in NBA Return
Cheers all-around last week with reports about the NBA’s return made official by players votes. However, the NBA isn’t without their uncertainties.
The eight teams not in the playoffs could go as long as nine months without basketball if the next season doesn’t begin until 2021. Some coaches want the added regular season time for young player development but Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is not one of them.
SMALL REMINDER: All these return plans are tentative based on virus containment at local and national health officials recommendations. This is all unprecedented and who knows what will happen until we start seeing games played.
More West Coast Reads For Your Week
Adaptive Sports Program Manager, Adaptive Sports Northwest
General News and Sports Reporter, Oregon Publishers Association
Tennis Site Director, United States Tennis Association
Sports Director, KHQ
Social Media Coordinator, Checkmate Gaming
Writer and Creative Development (Temp), Blizzard Entertainment
Content and Community Marketing Manager, Arrive Outdoors
Social Media Graphic Designer, Icon Sports
Sports Information Director, SO CAL FCA
Football Analyst, UCLA
Multiple, Comcast Spectacor
Multiple Broadcast Sports Production, Pegasus
Product Development Coordinator, Nextsport
Recreational Sports Coordinator, University of Nevada Reno
Sports Trader, IGT
Game Ops Coordinator, Henderson Knights
Full-Time Managing Editor, Inquisitr
Remote Podcast Show Host Internship, GSMC Podcast Network
Strategic Partnerships, Cameo
Multiple Remote Writing Positions, Front Office Sports
One More West Coast Vibe
An Oakland Native and face of the Portland Trailblazers dropped a cold dis on racism. Damian Lillard aka Dame D.O.L.L.A. says fuck you if you’re racist or idle against racism. Blacklist is a smooth switch up from what you might expect from Lillard’s music.
It’s a respected message featuring another Oakland musician Kev Choice. Lillard shares everyday African American experience in a welcomed spoken-word format. Well worth the three minutes of time no matter your favorite music type.
Thanks Again to those kind enough to share their email address. Subscribing to our weekly newsletter is the best way to keep up with relevant sports news from the region and you will support the growing West Coast Sports Community.